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Full text of "Annual Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program Report Fiscal Year 2012"

Agvip 

Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program 




Annual Gateway Vehicle Inspection 
Program Report - Fiscal Year 2012 



MISSOURI 

DEPARTMENT OF 
NATURAL RESOURCES 



a f Missouri State 
II, \ Highway Patrol 



Pub2384 



Introduction 

Pursuant to RSMo. 643.337.2, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri 
State Highway Patrol are issuing a joint annual report to the General Assembly on the status of 
the oversight measures implemented for the decentralized Inspection/Maintenance program - the 
Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program (GVIP). This report summarizes GVIP compliance and 
incidents of fraud discovered during the 2012 Fiscal Year (July 1, 201 1-June 30, 2012). This 
report also provides our joint recommendations for oversight improvements to the GVIP. 

Background 

The GVIP is a federally required air pollution control strategy in the St. Louis ozone 
nonattainment area comprised of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties and the 
City of St. Louis. 

Since the 1980s, the Department has overseen an Inspection/Maintenance program for vehicles 
located in the St. Louis area. The 

program originated as a decentralized Sf Loujs g . hour 0mm Design Va|ues 

program, became centralized in 2000 and 
then reverted to a decentralized program 
in 2007 with the beginning of the GVIP. 

The Missouri Air Conservation § 
Commission promulgated 10 CSR 10- = 
5.381, "On-Board Diagnostics Motor ^ 
Vehicle Emissions Inspections, " effective ^ 
August 30, 2007. This rule established "| 
state regulations that the Department and ° - 
Highway Patrol currently use to oversee 
and enforce the GVIP emission inspection 
requirements with assistance from the 
state's contractor, SysTech International. 
The Department is the lead agency with 
respect to emissions inspections and the 
Highway Patrol is the lead agency with 
respect to safety inspections. The GVIP 
began collecting vehicle emissions and 
safety inspection data on October 1, 2007. 

Station Licensing 

As of June 30, 2012, there were 820 public and 21 private or government active licensed GVIP 
stations. There were also approximately 5,000 licensed inspector/mechanics. A current list of 
licensed GVIP stations is on our website at www.dnr.mo.gov/gatewavvip/repair/index.html . 

Vehicle Inspection Data 

Each licensed GVIP station performs vehicle inspections using a Missouri Decentralized 
Analyzer System. This system sends real-time inspection information from the inspection 
stations directly to the GVIP Vehicle Inspection Database. The Department, Highway Patrol, 
Department of Revenue (DOR) and contract license offices all have access to the database 




75 

70 I 

95-97 96-9S 97-99 98-00 99-01 00-02 01-03 02-04 03-05 04-06 05-07 06-08 07-09 

Year 

Thanks to efforts like GVIP in the St. Louis area, ozone values have 
shown an overall decline in recent years. Mobile sources of air 
pollution, like cars and trucks are a significant source of ground-level 
ozone causing pollutants. Making sure the vehicles on St. Louis area 
roads are properly maintained benefits public health by preventing 
harmful emissions from polluting the environment. 



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through secure, dedicated Internet connections. During FY2012, GVIP stations conducted 
708,462 initial emissions inspections and 781,362 safety inspections. 

Previous testing programs identified vehicles after they were already polluting. This often 
resulted in costly repairs. In contrast, GVIP focuses on identifying problems in vehicles before 
they result in the need for major repair. While approximately 25,000 vehicles failed their initial 
emissions test, due to the efforts of GVIP, data indicates a final compliance rate of 99 percent for 
emission tested vehicles in the St. Louis area. 

Emissions Waivers and Exemptions 

10 CSR 10-5.381 (3)(K) enables the Department to issue waivers and exemptions from GVIP 
requirements. Just like inspection results, waivers and exemptions issued by the Department are 
available for real time verification by DOR, contract license offices and online registration via 
the Vehicle Inspection Database. 

• Cost-Based Waivers - granted by the Department if a motorist spends a specified 
amount on emissions-related repairs after failing an initial emissions inspection and is 
still not able to pass the emission test. During FY2012, the Department issued 651 
Cost-Based waivers. 

• Out-of-Area Waivers - granted by the Department for vehicles that are taxed within the 
ozone nonattainment area but not driven in the area during the registration period. For 
FY2012, the Department issued 283 Out-of-Area waivers. 

• Reciprocity Waivers - granted by the Department for vehicles that are taxed within the 
ozone nonattainment area but are located in another state and has passed an equivalent 
emission inspection in that state. For FY2012, the Department issued 106 Reciprocity 
waivers. 

• Mileage Based Exemptions - granted by the Department for vehicles with documented 
odometer readings to meet various mileage waiver criteria. For FY2012, the 
Department issued 1,556 Mileage-Based exemptions. 

Data Oversight Methods 

Real Time Inspection Data/Paperless Inspection Verification 

Each analyzer unit connects to the Vehicle Inspection Database using a dedicated Internet 
connection. Upon completion of a vehicle inspection, the system's software uploads the 
inspection data to the database, where it becomes immediately available to the Department, the 
Highway Patrol, SysTech, DOR, contract license offices and the online registration system for 
inspection verification. This allows license offices to quickly identify fraudulent vehicle 
inspection reports, deny vehicle registrations and report the issue so an immediate investigation 
may begin. This investigation includes determining the source of the fraudulent inspection 
reports, requiring legitimate inspections for the vehicles and possible criminal prosecution. 

Bulletin Messaging and Documents Menu 

Each analyzer unit includes a messaging system that allows the Department, the Highway Patrol 
and SysTech to contact GVIP stations, individually or collectively, to inform inspectors and 
mechanics about inspection procedures, billing reminders and software updates. Each unit is 



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also equipped with a documents menu, which stores and prints GVIP regulations and fact sheets, 
as well as comment, waiver and exemption forms. This simplifies the distribution of public 
information to inspection stations and to vehicle owners. 

Consumer Protection Technical Service Centers 

Cost-Based waivers allow a vehicle to register and operate in a failing condition for up to two 
years. Therefore, the Department strives to ensure repairs made to vehicles receiving a Cost- 
Based waiver are appropriate and beneficial. Through negotiated contracts, the Department 
retains the services of approximately 10 vehicle repair facilities to serve as Technical Service 
Centers. These Technical Service Centers employ Missouri Recognized Repair Technicians who 
are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence in specific areas, 
specializing in diagnosing the cause of a failing emissions test. These centers serve to: 

• Diagnose readiness issues with specific makes and models. This helps identify vehicles 
requiring special testing circumstances and allow for ease of future testing. 

• Diagnose vehicles that received repairs but show no signs of improvement. 

• Review vehicles and prepare receipts to ensure repairs performed were necessary for the 
emissions failure and performed as billed. 

• Provide motorists with accurate diagnostic information on how best to repair their vehicle 
to pass an emissions test. 

The Department is able to deny Cost-Based waiver requests if reviews show repairs were not 
appropriate to correct the emissions failure. Many times, the Department works with the shops 
that performed the initial repairs to reimburse the motorist or provide additional free repairs. The 
use of Technical Service Centers reduces the number of Cost-Based waivers, thereby minimizing 
the emissions from waived vehicles while also maximizing the number of fully repaired vehicles. 

For FY2012, the Department authorized the review of 43 vehicles by one of these centers. 

Equipment Oversight Methods 

Laptop Audit Computers with Wireless Internet Access 

Department and Highway Patrol auditors receive laptop computers containing both analyzer 
software and customized auditing software. These laptops allow auditors to securely access the 
Vehicle Inspection Database and conduct audits with or without Internet access. Department and 
Highway Patrol auditors are able to review inspection records for all stations and 
inspector/mechanics while in the field. Once an audit is complete, Department and Highway 
Patrol staff managers can immediately review audit results and generate summary audit reports 
from the inspection database. This automatic upload allows for a quicker response when 
identifying fraudulent inspections and procedures. 

Digital Cameras 

Each analyzer unit includes a detachable digital camera. The analyzer's software requires 
licensed inspector/mechanics to photograph the rear license plate, vehicle identification number 
plate and the odometer. The inspector/mechanic attaches these photographs to the vehicle 
inspection reports on the inspection database where it is available for review and comparison to 
the inspection report to ensure the vehicle reported matches the vehicle inspected. The 
Department and Highway Patrol are then able to identify inspector/mechanics taking improper or 
no photos prior to the inspection. 



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Fingerprint Readers 

Each analyzer unit also includes a digital fingerprint reader. The software requires the licensed 
inspector/mechanics to scan one finger prior to beginning each inspection. This fingerprint scan 
must match the scan stored in the system for that individual in order to proceed with the 
inspection. Fingerprint readers in combination with the trigger reports described below have 
dramatically improved enforcement efficiency by documenting and pinpointing 
inspector/mechanics conducting improper inspections. 

Enforcement 

Station Audits 

The Department and Highway Patrol conduct overt and covert audits of GVIP stations. During 
covert audits, the Department uses a fleet of six vehicles altered to fail in order to assess the test 
effectiveness and to prevent test station fraud. The Highway Patrol also has a fleet of five 
vehicles with varying defects to evaluate the station's safety inspections. During FY2012, 
Department staff conducted 1,593 overt audits and 682 covert audits of GVIP stations and 
Highway Patrol staff conducted 4,336 overt audits and 135 covert audits. 

Trigger Reports 

Once uploaded to the inspection database, the inspection data becomes available to the 
Department, Highway Patrol, DOR and SysTech via an Internet-based Reporting Suite. The 
Reporting Suite contains general informational reports along with "trigger reports" designed to 
identify emissions or safety inspection patterns inconsistent with state regulations. As soon as 
improper inspections occur, the trigger report compiles the evidence into a report used to initiate 
an investigation. For example, the OBD VIN Mismatch Report and the Protocol Mismatch 
Report reveal "clean scanning" violations. Clean scanning is the illegal act of connecting the 
analyzer cable to a different vehicle than the one identified on the inspection report with the 
intent of bypassing the required test procedure. The OBD VIN Mismatch Report compares the 
vehicle identification number entered by the inspector/mechanic with the number the vehicle 
reported through the system. In addition, vehicle manufacturers program every make and model 
with a certain protocol that the vehicle uses to communicate. The Protocol Mismatch Report 
identifies inspections where the protocol used by the on-board diagnostic is different than the 
known protocol for the vehicle reported. These two reports are extremely effective in identifying 
instances of fraudulent inspections. 

Clean Scanning 

Fraudulent inspection activities such as clean scanning are violations of the Clean Air Act and 
prosecutable by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The Department and Highway Patrol collaborate 
with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division and the 
U.S. Attorney's Office on investigations of vehicle inspection fraud and inspection document 
falsification. 

In October 201 1, the Department reached a $77,671.14 settlement with Airport Automotive in 
Hazelwood, MO, for 19 documented clean scans conducted at the facility. The Department 
agreed to suspend $70,000 of the penalty provided the facility has no further violations of 
Missouri Air Conservation Law and regulations for two years. As part of the negotiated penalty, 
Airport Automotive conducted necessary repairs on the clean scanned vehicles in order for them 
to pass emissions testing. 



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In November 201 1, the Missouri Attorney General's Office filed a $350,000 default judgment 
against Ms. Susan Clark for her role as responsible agent in 35 clean scans conducted at Clark 
Tire Wholesale in Imperial, MO. 

In June 2012, the Department and the Attorney General's Office reached a $200,000 settlement 
with Mr. Jeff Clark for an additional 63 clean scan inspections conducted at Clark's Tire and 
Auto, LLC (formerly Clark Tire Wholesale). The Department agreed to suspend $180,000 of the 
penalty provided the facility has no further violations of Missouri Air Conservation Law and 
regulations for two years. 

Equipment Lockouts and License Suspensions/Revocations 

The Department and Highway Patrol have the ability to apply an electronic "lockout" which 
prevents an individual inspector/mechanic or an entire GVIP station from using their analyzer 
unit(s). For FY2012, the Highway Patrol initiated 678 lockouts for various reasons including no 
or poor quality photographs and/or inspection violations. The removal of a lockout occurs upon 
the completion of the license suspension or the correction of the violation. 

In addition to having their analyzers locked out, inspection stations conducting improper 
inspection activities may have their inspection licenses suspended for up to one year or revoked 
entirely. To date, the Highway Patrol suspended 10 inspector/mechanic licenses for clean 
scanning violations. During FY2012, the Highway Patrol suspended or revoked the following 
station licenses for clean scanning violations: 

• Midtown Tire & Auto (4101 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis) 

• A-l Truck & Auto (1260 Truman Blvd, Crystal City) 

• Victory Auto Repair (1023 W. Fifth St, Eureka) 

• McNamara's Auto (814 S. Lindbergh, St. Louis) 

• West County Nissan (15908 Manchester Rd, Ellisville) 

• Olympic Motor Co. (1790 N. Lindbergh, Florissant) 

• Seeger Toyota (12833 Olive St, Creve Coeur) 

• Auto Tire Car Care (330 Lemay Ferry Rd, St. Louis) 

• Autoworld, Inc. (801 McDonnell Blvd, Hazelwood) 

The Department and Highway Patrol continuously investigate additional GVIP stations and 
inspector/mechanics for improper inspection activities. 

Oversight Results 

The GVIP prevents registration fraud by investigating and identifying individuals producing 
fraudulent inspection reports. The GVIP implemented an improved auditing system streamlining 
the Department and Highway Patrol oversight of vehicle emissions and safety inspections. The 
result of the integrated oversight methods described above is that the Department and Highway 
Patrol can cost-effectively audit, detect, enforce and further prevent emissions and safety 
inspection fraud. 

Recommendations for the Future 

The Department and Highway Patrol continually strive to improve our ability to detect fraud and 
ensure data integrity. We continue to move forward by identifying areas of possible 
improvement to the GVIP, including: 



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• Provide ability for Mileage Based Exemptions to be provided at GVIP inspection facilities 
through the inspection analyzer by utilizing data already in the inspection system at no 
charge to the motorist and no VID fee or authorization fee charged to the shop. 

• Continue efforts to seek out and prevent fraudulent inspection procedures in addition to 
clean scanning violations. With ongoing improvements to the reporting system, and varied 
covert audit techniques, we continue to improve our ability to efficiently identify improper 
inspections. 

• Continue working with DOR to improve the registration process through identifying and 
preventing invalid registration obtained with counterfeit inspection reports, ensuring 
individual licensing offices conduct proper verifications, minimizing problems or 
confusion with registration of vehicles that are exempted from safety and/or emissions 
inspections, minimizing issues associated with online registrations and providing additional 
information regarding exemptions. We will also continue to work with DOR to ensure 
automobile dealers state wide meet their statutory obligation to inform vehicle purchasers 
of their rights regarding emissions inspections. 

• Continue efforts to coordinate with the Missouri Attorney General's Office Consumer 
Protection Division and DOR to bring enforcement action against used car dealers who fail 
to meet the requirements of the statute. RSMo. 643.315.4 requires a dealer to obtain a 
passing emissions test before sale or clearly state in the sales contract that the purchaser 
may return the vehicle to the dealer for retest and repair within ten days of sale should the 
vehicle fail an emissions test. 

Conclusion 

The oversight measures described in this report have escalated the Gateway Vehicle Inspection 
Program to among the best in the country. Thanks to efforts like GVIP in the St. Louis area, 
ozone levels have shown a continued decline in recent years. As the program matures, we will 
have an even greater potential for compliance and enforcement capabilities. The Department and 
Highway Patrol will continue working with SysTech to enhance the oversight tools needed to 
identify violations and improve enforcement capabilities. Both agencies will continue to ensure 
compliance with state statutes and rules, remove violators from the program and work for the 
public health and safety by overseeing an inspection program with proven value and integrity. 



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